Key education announcements

Issue: Volume 97, Number 1

Posted: 29 January 2018
Reference #: 1H9hEN

In late 2017 the Government made a series of key education announcements. The Education Gazette summarises them here.

The Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content is now available

Schools and kura can now access the new digital curriculum content for their teaching and learning programmes. The curriculum will be available for all students from year 1 to year 13 and students have the opportunity to specialise from year 11 to year 13. From 2020 all schools and kura will be expected to have introduced the new content.

NCEA Level 1 achievement standards are available for use from 2018. Levels 2 and 3 will be made available from 2019.

Over the next three years $40 million will be spent to ensure schools, kura and Kāhui Ako | Communities of Learning have an excellent understanding of the new curriculum content and how this can be integrated into teaching and learning programmes.

The professional support is staged at supporting different levels of competency. It can be accessed until the teachers and kaiako feel ready to integrate the new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content.

The already available Digital Fluency centrally funded PLD(external link) may be the best place to start for some schools. Further support will become available from term 1 this year.

For more information and links to the curriculum:

Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum content goes live.(external link)

Removal of National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori

National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori have been removed. A new progress-based approach will be developed in collaboration with the sector, education experts, parents, whānau, iwi and students during 2018.

Boards of Trustees, principals, teachers, and parents will be kept informed on this change. The Ministry of Education website will be updated as more information on the development of the new progress-based approach becomes available.

Schools and kura are still required to report to students and parents at least twice a year on the progress and achievement of individual students. Reporting must be in plain written language and include the foundational learning areas of literacy and numeracy, te reo matatini and pāngarau. Starting this year, schools and kura, in consultation with their communities, can decide how this assessment, aromatawai, and reporting is done. Although no longer required, National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori are still an option for schools and kura to support reporting to parents and assessment.

All Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako no longer need to use National Standards or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori when setting achievement challenges and can remove them from their existing challenges if they wish to do so. Kāhui Ako may choose which tools to use to review the impact of their Action Plans to realise their achievement challenges and to monitor how their students are tracking against curriculum expectations. Guidance on setting achievement challenges(external link) is available.

For information on the tools available to assist assessment of students, go to link).  

For questions about the removal of Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori and National Standards, email

Review of NCEA

The Terms of Reference for the Review of the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) have been announced.

NCEA is a trusted and well-regarded qualification, but like all qualifications listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, it requires periodic review.

In both English and Māori-medium settings, the NCEA will be reviewed this year to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and continues to support young people to succeed on a diverse range of pathways. The Ministry of Education will be publicly consulting this year and the review is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Go to link) to download the Terms of Reference and the Cabinet Paper ‘Reviewing NCEA’.

Cohort entry amendment

The Minister of Education has said that he will amend the Education (Update) Amendment Act this year to limit cohort entry to children over five years of age.

Schools that have, or agree to, a policy allowing four-year-olds to enter under cohort entry can implement this any time from term 1 this year until the Act is amended.

Tertiary education – fees-free policy

All New Zealand students who finished school in 2017, or who will finish school during 2018, now qualify for fees-free, provider-based tertiary study, or their first two years of industry-based training fees free.

Go to link) to find out more, including the eligibility criteria and advice on what to do if the student has already paid fees or enrolled in a course for 2018 or has signed up for a student loan to cover fees for 2018.

Teacher supply package announced

The Government has announced a one-off $9.5 million package to boost teacher supply. This package is in addition to other initiatives currently underway to address teacher workloads and to raise the status of the profession.

The package includes:

  • expanding the Voluntary Bonding Scheme this year to include beginning teachers starting in decile 2 and 3 state and state integrated schools in Auckland and new teachers of science, technology, maths and te reo Māori nationwide and all new teachers in Māori medium settings
  • expanding the number of teachers supported by the Auckland Beginner Teacher Project to 60 this year
  • funding the Teacher Education Refresher (TER) course for the first six months of this year to cover around 500 teachers
  • adding another 35 places in the Teach First NZ programme in 2019
  • establishing a $1 million fund schools can apply to use this as an incentive to attract or retain a teacher, where there are no available options
  • $1 million targeted marketing campaign to attract teachers to 
  • New Zealand, increase enrolments in initial teacher education, 
  • re-engage teachers who have left teaching and support principals with recruitment
  • providing support so schools that don’t have the capacity to provide subjects i.e. te reo Māori, science, mathematics and technology, can enrol their students with Te Kura
  • establishing an overseas relocation grant to attract teachers from overseas and support New Zealand trained teachers who return to fill current vacancies
  • establishing a range of pre-approved overseas teaching qualifications to make it faster, easier and more affordable for overseas teachers to come and work in New Zealand.

Go to Teacher Supply Package (external link)for more information.

For any questions, email or phone
04 463 2890.

Transfer of professional learning and development halted

The proposed transfer of the administration of teacher professional learning and development (PLD) to the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand has been stopped while work progresses on implementing the Government’s education manifesto.

The responsibility for managing and overseeing PLD remains with the Ministry of Education until such time as decisions are confirmed on future arrangements.

The current processes for allocating and delivering PLD to teachers and school leaders remain unchanged.

For the latest information about PLD, go to PLD(external link)
(external link)

Getting the latest information

The Ministry of Education(external link) will continue to post the latest updates on the website. 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:00 AM, 29 January 2018

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